Yohan Cabaye has heaped praise on fellow midfielder Cheick Tiote and hopes their partnership can help Newcastle into the Europa League.
Both players have missed some Premier League action in recent times, with Tiote away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations and Cabaye serving a three-match suspension.
While the Magpies did not really suffer in their absence, it has been a major boost to have such key men back for the run-in.
Cabaye believes their different styles complement each other in the centre of the field and has paid tribute to Tiote for the important role he plays for the team.
Frenchman Cabaye is now hoping they can remain fit and in tandem until the end of the campaign to help fulfil the club's ambitions.
He said: "Now there are 11 games and we hope to play together in all 11 games and help to win many of them to stay at the top of the league and get into the Europa League or maybe more.
"Personally, I love playing next to Cheick. He understands football.
"He can play easily one and two-touch, he is a very, very good midfielder and he can get the ball up the field to the attackers.
"For us, he is very good. For me and for the wide players, we can go forward and Cheick stays just in front of the back four."
Cabaye has earned rave reviews for his performances this season after arriving from Ligue 1 champions Lille last summer, although he admits it did take time to adjust to the Premier League.
He said: "I have learnt about the intensity in the game and to run, to attack, to defend. I am stronger now than at the start of the season.
"It [the English game] is more physical. The referee doesn't whistle like in France, so you have to learn about that. You have to be very focused."